Ocean State Job Lot Will Make Improvements In Exchange For Tax Abatement

If approved, OSJL will not have to pay taxes on the assessed value of improvements until 2016.


Apparently bargain hunting instincts extend beyond home supplies, apparel and snacks because the discount retail chain is in the midst of striking a deal with the Town of Ledyard to make some improvements to their property, but not pay taxes on the increased value until 2016, potentially.

The Finance Committee voted Wednesday to relieve Ocean State Job Lot from the additional tax burden on forthcoming repairs after recieving a list of scheduled improvements to take place over the next two years.

If approved OSJL will receive a tax abatement (on the value of the improvements only) while they are being implemented and for two years afterward. If any of the planned improvements are not made, all the taxes will become due and payable.

The Ocean State Job Lot mall and parking lot have been the subject of longstanding complaints and town officials have been trying to get OSJL to improve the buildings and parking lot for years, according to Mayor John Rodolico. The scheduled improvements (plus contingency funds) come to $512,200 and he said he does not know why they finally relented.

OSJL’s assessed value is $2,152.080 and pays $60,187.60 in taxes every year. According to Mayoral Assistant Mark Bancroft, most of the “improvements” amount to no more than routine maintenance and the town will only lose approximately $3,000 taxes over the entire timeframe. He said repair and seal of parking lot plus lighting is about the only thing that would add value to the property.

“I’m just happy they’re doing something,” said Councilor Sharon Wadecki of the property.

These are the planned improvements:

Phase One, 2012

Paint and repair pylon

Enclose with field stone wall

New tenant panels

New OSJL panel

Repair, seal and stripe parking lot

Remove small store walkway

Upgrade planters

Remove mildew and paint back of center

New parking lot lighting

Phase Two, 2013

New OSJL canopy

New OSJL fascia sign

Add face cap to columns

Add panels to store front

Repaint building

Clean and resurface sidewalks

Remove paving in future out parcel

Seed and plant

Phase Three, 2014

New canopy on former supermarket and shops

Repave loading area as needed

Corey Sipe September 07, 2012 at 05:25 AM
After doing research, I encourage Ledyard to only allow this "deal" if OSJL can promise in writing for repairs and renovations to mirror that of the Old Saybrook OSJL. This store features beautiful antique mill lighting, teal green canopies, teal green sign board with white lettering, and beautiful landscaped islands. Ledyard, please set the bar high! I do enjoy the "colonial" look of CVS and other newer buildings and think Ledyard should encourage this in their regulations!
B-Mom September 09, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Where are the detailed drawings? Is there a site plan? or Did this guy get to have a "hold your breath with arms crossed over his chest until he got his way" moment? I agree with Corey - hold this business to the same high standards that have been applied to anyone trying to open a business in Gales Ferry/ Ledyard.
Karen Hantsche September 11, 2012 at 01:04 PM
The site is a depressing landmark, typical of a has-been town. As a kid who grew up in Gales Ferry, I would love to see improvements of any kind. Why would any successful business want to move in down there the way it looks now? I say, "Bring back the fountain!" Visual appeal is worth a great deal in hard times.
Larry Lynch September 11, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Pfizer got a tax break (and got a lot of people put out of their homes) on the other side of the river, now its (mostly) vacant and NL/Waterford tax rolls are down the tubes. Groton gave all kinds of breaks (and even changed their championship quality golf course) to Pfizer.. Now Groton has a gazzilion square feet of empty eyesore buildings, with no likely tenants. Giving stuff away NEVER leads to a prosperous municipality (not in my memory and Ive been here a LONG time) Make OSJL pay their own way or leave. It really is just that simple.. If they were to bulldoze that complex and leave a gravel lot, it would be an IMPROVEMENT over what it is now.
Nora September 11, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Karen - well said, agree 100%


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